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Scenario Design and Modding
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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design and Modding » Neutral AI:s chasing villagers and that "Learn" folder.
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Topic Subject:Neutral AI:s chasing villagers and that "Learn" folder.
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 04-14-20 10:24 AM ET (US)         
In finishing up my old campaign I sort of feel like I have come to expect certain behaviors from the AI which I worry sometimes won't be reproduced by players. At one point I literally had a tribute timer syncronized with the AI moving its units after 7 minutes for a cool effect (I managed to ruin that but tbh the timer was pretty uncomfortable anyway).

One of the most curious examples however is how the AI in the first scenario, which uses the Neutral stance, will sometimes decide that it should be attacking the player's villagers. I don't even think this should be happening but I'm pretty fond of the "bullying" dynamic that it creates. I believe this might be related to the Learn files, as deleting those at one point severely stumped the AI. Still I actually tried moving the .uh file to another Machine and I still didn't see the same level of aggressiveness, so I'm not sure.

Do we have any documentation about what goes on with that there Learn folder? Is it meaningful to include Learn files with campaign?

It's kind of funny to think how many campaigns in our Granary might have played entirely differently on the designers computer compared to the players who would download them.

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
AuthorReplies:
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 04-20-20 02:01 PM ET (US)     1 / 5       
I found the neutral stance always finicky and unreliable, but it does have some cool effects like you mentioned. Have no idea about the Learn file, my guess was always that the file had to do with player progress with campaigns (registering which scenario's have been completed). Someone should take a crack at those in any case.
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 04-21-20 08:14 AM ET (US)     2 / 5       
Okay you know what I opened the files and given that they're just a few bytes long, I doubt they contain any meaningful data about the maps played by the user. But I'm confident there is some reinforcement learning shenanigans going on in the background with AoE. I actually have a very distinct memory of Alakazam's MMC entry being much better on the second playthrough due to the AI putting up more of a fight. I suspect that'll remain shrouded in mystery forever.

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
chab
Clubman
posted 04-21-20 11:21 AM ET (US)     3 / 5       
from what I've seen and experienced, game developers probably intended (at early stages?) to make AI take note of human player's actions, and adapt AI choices in next games according to collected information (what kind of units are generally used, etc).

But my guess is that's just dead code, or even there's no longer any code about this in the game, and the learn file is totally unused.
Just a guess
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 04-25-20 11:15 AM ET (US)     4 / 5       
Hm, that would probably make the most sense. Maybe a small part of that code is still "activated" sometimes allowing for a sort of randomness and more engaging experiences.
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 04-26-20 05:12 AM ET (US)     5 / 5       
Here's what I know: Any eventual learning that goes on does not affect the build order of the AI, it is a slave to the .ai file and doesn't for instance build counters. I'm also fairly certain it doesn't override anything in the .per or .cty files which we can actually control, e.g. attack groups sizes, and placement of buildings which aren't drop points or towers. Finally the actual .uh files seem to be written to whenever the a player is active, and the default.uh is always active. However, the contents of these files whenever I look at them seems to be static, suggesting they likely don't conserve any meaningful info in themselves.

Here's what I suspect the AI learns: Unit movement, likely related to the game.ply file. I recall having a discussion about that at some point long ago, and IIRC the .ply file contains a set of different "tactics" that determine how the computer will actually move its attack and defense groups. I wouldn't go as far as to say the AI learns these behaviors over the course of a map being played several times, but maybe that it simply figures out which of a set of predefined behaviors is best adapted to the map. Additionally, I suspect it may learn certain key locations, e.g. "player keeps his eco here", "he's likely to engage at this point". Finally, I believe I have seen some evidence of the AI delaying its attacks to gather up forces on maps where it knows I'll pwn it if it sends in a small batch of units.

I know there's machine learning going on in this game can't you people see it?

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
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